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Traders not optimistic about EA's Take-Two deal

Take-Two trading volume trebled as options traders appear skeptical of a successful EA takeover

Nearly five months after EA first announced its bid for Take-Two, options traders appear to be questioning whether the company will be successful.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, investors pushed Take-Two's trading volume to three times the normal daily level on Wednesday - picking up 9,000 calls that allow them to buy the stock and 8,000 puts that allow them to sell it.

On Tuesday, investors picked up 4,000 calls and 6,000 puts.

The Journal opines that traders gravitating towards put contracts suggests they are growing skeptical of EA's ability to seal the deal.

During Wednesday's session, traders focused on August puts that allow them to sell Take-Two stock for USD 20. At a price of USD 85 cents, these contracts will make money if Take-Two's shares drop below USD 19.15.

Take-Two shares closed the week at USD 23.80 - a 7.61 per cent decline from last week's trading price of USD 25.76 and well below EA's offer. Shares in EA, meanwhile, remained largely unchanged during the week, dropping USD 0.04 to USD 43.98.

Volatility levels "are trading up today, so obviously there's speculation that somebody is about to do something," Andy Schwarz, founder of AGS Specialist Partners, told the Wall Street Journal.

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